18 February 2009

Change in advertising

#update: following Famous on Twitter is @FamousBrussels, not @Famous.
Thank you Goedles

Tim & Joeri of Famous.be
Tim and Joeri., originally uploaded by Pieter Baert.

This morning, Famous has released a creative inauguration speech on advertising. The 'creative inauguration' is published on a sub-page of the Famous website. A widget is offered to implement the text onto blogs and other digital media, so it is made portable, nice. But the entire text was published in the form of a ticker which scrolls just too fast to be comfortable for reading. Therefor I posted it here in this post. The text is a very nice example of creative writing. Would you wonder. Tim Driesen is Co-Creative Director @FamousBrussels, an agency renowned for obtaining many creative awards through the years. Though last year they've announced not to participate to creative award-shows anymore. I thought that was a joke at first, but it wasn't.

Former Creative Director Paul Wauters left Belgium to train new Creative Directors for the TBWA Group in Italy. And so Tim and Joeri will take his place as Creative Director team. Tim and Joeri aren't new to the Famous crew. They'd worked there for over 5 years before moving to Mortierbrigade about 2 years ago. So now they're back at the agency that helped them grow to become Belgium star team in advertising. Tim and Joeri got famous when the agency was still called LG&F. They struck numerous creative awards including many Gold Lions.

My guess is that Tim and Joeri will introduce a new young drive of enthusiasm @FamousBrussels and soon will take part at bigger competitions like they did before. I briefly worked with them when I was at Snow by LG&F, they're great, good fellas. To insiders they're also know as 'the usual suspects'.


“My fellow creatives: I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust advertisers have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our creative ancestors.

That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Advertising is at war, against a far-reaching network of scepticism and fear. Our creativity is badly weakened, a consequence of irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare advertising for a new age. Freshness of mind has been lost, jobs shed, businesses shuttered. Our productions are too costly, our art schools fail too many, and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use or don’t use our creativity threaten our agencies.

These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our industry — a nagging fear that advertising’s decline is inevitable, and that the next generation of advertisers must lower its sights.

Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, fellow creatives — they will be met.

In reaffirming the greatness of our industry, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of short-cuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted — for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of the rich and famous. Rather, it has been the risk takers, the doers, the makers of things — some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labour, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and creativity. These men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked until their heads almost exploded so that we might become better creatives. They saw advertising as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions.

This is the journey we continue today. We serve the most prosperous, powerful brands on Earth. These multinationals may be less productive than when this crisis began. But our minds are no less inventive, our services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our creativity remains undiminished. But our time of standing still, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions — that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking the advertising business.

For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of our industry calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act — not only to create new ads, but to lay new foundations for fresh creativity. We will build more and far better websites. We will restore television and print advertising to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise CRM’s quality and lower its cost. And we will transform our art schools and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. And all this we will do.

Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions — who suggest that advertising today cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this industry has already done; what creative men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.

What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them — that the same arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our advertising is too creative or too dull, but whether it works — whether it helps products to be sold and brands to be made heroes. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, campaigns will end. And those of us who manage the advertisers’ budgets will be held to account — to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day — because only then can we restore the vital trust between advertisers and their agencies.

To the advertiser’s world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those marketing directors who seek to sow conflict, or blame their companies' ills on advertising — know that consumers will judge you on what you can build, not what your agency can sell.

For the world has changed, and we must change with it.

For as much as the advertising industry can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the people in every agency upon which our industry relies. It is the selflessness of workers who would rather work long hours than see their company go down which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the creative team’s courage to start all over again, but also an account handler’s willingness to question the client’s demands, that finally decides our fate.

Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends — hard work and honesty, courage and creativity, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and research — these things are old. These things are true. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility — a recognition, on the part of every person working in advertising, that we have duties to ourselves, our industry, and creativity in general, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.

This is the price and the promise of working in advertising.

In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our trainees' trainees that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of creativity and delivered it safely to future generations.”

Tim Driesen, Creative Director – Famous.be

1 comment:

  1. Nice post, just one small remark: our Twitterchannel is @famousbrussels (http://www.twitter.com/famousbrussels) ;-)